As a working single mom, I brush my teeth in the shower; and a certain diner playing the referee in a two-finger twist. My sons, who are 21 months old, went to preschool after the stress of divorce. Doing more than two things at once was a matter of course. But it happened more than 20 years ago, and then it wasn’t called multitasking. Said to stay. Today’s parents still see multitasking as a necessity, but now in our high-tech society, screening machines with smaller screens have made multi-tasking a must in the workplace.
In fact, if you’re a working adult who doesn’t like or refuses to do multiple tasks, expect peer pressure or even a pink slip. The 30-year-old gentleman I was sitting next to on an Amtrak flight from New York to Philadelphia couldn’t tell his boss, “Well, I can’t be in a meeting, I’m traveling at the time.” Instead, he opened his laptop in his comfortable Amtrak business class seat, plugged in a headset in his cell / blackberry, and was “present,” speaking to at least eight people as far as I could tell. Because we were sitting so close, sharing ribbons on the sleeves of our coats, I was taken to a meeting to see if I liked it or not.
I wanted to sleep; Sit back and think about what you just tried at this resort. I wanted silence on my part, not a changing stock price or an opinion on what to buy next. I didn’t need those mixed sentences, “Okay, sir … maybe, I’ll see … or yes … it makes sense!” Stop my thoughts regularly. What I wanted – peace and quiet – did not happen because the train was crowded and there was no other place. In fact, when I looked around, I saw that they were doing what my seat members were doing. Help! I was a prisoner on a multitasking train of screen machines.
When using computers and small screen devices as their preferred means of communication, adults often have no choice. They need to use these tools correctly in their work environment and be able to use them as much as possible in the time allowed. If many adults need multitasking technical skills to advance in their careers, what should we teach our teens about it? Or should we teach multimedia tasks to our children? Isn’t that harmful to their developing brain?
Make sure your teen has a healthy socialization process and uses the Internet and small screen devices wisely and safely. Today’s teens are called “natives” of this new high-tech world. Young people who grow up with small screens are much smarter than their parents or grandparents when it comes to navigating a computer, sending instant messages, or changing phone number lists on a mobile phone. Kids, adapted to screen gadgets, naturally become proficient in multitasking very quickly.